Instant Decisions and
in the Future
There are many different ways to talk about the future
in English. We use different verb
depending on what we want to say about the future.
In this lesson, we will learn how to talk about instant decisions and
promises about the future.
Click Here for Step-by-Step Rules, Stories and Exercises to Practice All English Tenses
An instant decision is one that we make based
on current circumstances. When we must make a fast choice, this is an
These are not our intentions for the future, but a decision we make
For these instant decisions, we must use the simple
For example, imagine that you are in a restaurant and the waiter has
offered you two specials: chicken or pasta.
Hmm, both of the specials sound really good, but I think I will have
Hmm, both of the specials sound really good, but I think I am having
Hmm, both of the specials sound really good, but I think I am going to have
We don't use the present
or the future
with going to
when we are talking about instant decisions. Be sure to review the page
so you understand the difference.
Also go over the rules on how to form the simple future here
before reading the examples below.
no, Henry has fallen! I'll
help him clean his shirt and tie!
(At the moment you see him fall, you decide to help.)
- Rusty is chasing the mail carrier! I'll call
(When you see the dog chasing the mail carrier, you decided to call him
- Goodness, Cheryl, are you sick? I'll make
you some chicken soup.
(When you see how sick she is, you decide to make her some soup.)
- That looks fun, Johnny! I'll push
you, then you can push me!
(When you see how much fun Johnny is having on the swing, you decide to
- Wendell looks really upset! I'll get him
a glass of water. Maybe that will help calm him down.
(When you see how angry he looks, you decide to get him a glass of
Remember that we also use the simple future with will
when we are
making offers. It is very common for an instant decision to be an
offer. We use the simple future with will
in both cases.
When we want to make a promise in English, we also use the simple
future with will
you for the loan! I will
you back next week.
you for the loan! I am
you back next week.
When we are making a promise, we must use the simple future with will
. Since this is
different from an intention or an arrangement, we cannot use the
present continuous or the future with going to
- I will
be the best husband in the whole world.
(This is what he promises to his wife.)
- I am an excellent teacher. I will have
you dancing like a professional in just two months.
(She promises fast results.)
- I'm afraid I didn't see the sign there. I will pay
for the damages.
(He promises to pay for the damages.)
- I am the best detective in the city! I will catch
the robber for you.
(He promises to catch the criminal.)
- I will
brush my teeth every day to keep them clean and healthy!
(This is his promise.)
are examples of promises and instant decisions about the future. Be
sure to review the other pages in this section to learn how to talk
about the future using different verb
Also write some examples of your own to help you remember how to talk
about promises and instant decisions.